Honored for their Pelican Rapids high school careers in academics, arts and athletics for 2021 are seniors Rachel Guler, far left, and McHale Korf, pictured here.
Honored for their Pelican Rapids high school careers in academics, arts and athletics for 2021 are seniors Rachel Guler, far left, and McHale Korf, pictured here.

Rachel Guler, McHale Korf excel in arts, athletics—while hitting the books

Well-rounded students, active in sports, arts and academics, will receive the annual AAA honors at Pelican Rapids High School. 

The 2021 Academics, Arts, Athletics Award are two seniors who have been active across the spectrum of high school life. 

McHale Korf and Rachel Guler are the local Minnesota State High School League AAA award winners for the Pelican School District. 

Rachel follows directly in the footsteps of her sister, Maddie, who earned the honor in 2020. 

Theater, speech are among 

Guler’s fondest memories

With a packed schedule throughout the year, Rachel has not only been a section leader in band, but a on the competitive speech team since junior high. She has taken the stage in One Act Play competitions for the past three years. 

“I have always loved the arts and I’m continuing my passion. I have participated in band since 5th grade and choir since 8th. I unfortunately was unable to continue choir as it no longer fit in my schedule,” wrote Rachel in the AAA nomination report.

Practically born in the stage lights, she has been involved in theater since the 2nd grade. 

“As soon as one-act was offered at my school I leaped at the chance to be part of it,” 

Speech is “by far” her favorite activity. Rachel said she has “poured my heart and soul into” Speech. 

She has won various tournaments and placed at many more. Also, she has plans to continue with speech in college.

Rachel plans to attend South Dakota State University in psychology. Her arts focus will be speech, theater and possibly choir. 

On the academic side, Rachel has always pushed herself to take classes that challenge her. 

Five of her classes this year are college-level courses. 

Rachel has always loved being a part of a team. “I have always known that being a good teammate is a part of all sports. I have made sure to always help my team in anyway possible. If that meant staying on the bench and cheering…I have always been more than willing.” 

Rachel has the distinction of playing with the same girls since elementary which has allowed her to experience these successes with friends. 

“I’ve been able to participate in the state tournament both as an athlete and a volunteer. I chose to volunteer so I could not only cheer on my sister and teammates—but also my friends from other schools.”

“My participation in all my activities and school has given me the self-confidence that I have today. Without this I would fear pushing myself, standing up for what’s right, and helping others…It has given me confidence in all areas of my life. From performing as another person to racing my sister in an egg race in front of the whole school. My involvement in my school has shaped me into who I am today.”

Leading on court and field–and blowing his 

horn in band

Though his specific college or university is still being determined, McHale Korf is looking at a career with numbers—accounting and finance. But along the way, he plans to participate in football and basketball—sports in which he has been a standout in Pelican Rapids. 

“Passion” is how Korf describes his interest in sports—including football, basketball, and golf. Over the course of his high school tenure, he has earned All Conference honors nine times—three times in each sport. 

A captain in basketball since his sophomore year and football since his junior year, McHale has taken leadership roles on the court and field. 

He reached the 1,000 point mark in basketball last year. This past football season, he was awarded to the Academic All-State team—a list of 15 student athletes in class AA who excelled in leadership, academics, and football. In golf, he has been on varsity team since 7th grade and would’ve been a part of the team in the spring of 2020—if the season had not been canceled due to the pandemic.

A trumpet player since fifth grade, he has served as section leader his freshman year and is currently third chair out of a section of thirteen trumpeters. In his sophomore year, the band traveled to Concordia College (Moorhead) for a Wind Ensemble contest with other local schools—earning a Superior rating. “I will never forget rocking out with the pep band at sporting events and pep fests,” said McHale, of his participation in one of the area’s most notable high school pep bands. 

As a freshman, McHale challenged himself to learn a different language, taking Spanish 1. 

“Although it was a hard course, I enjoyed my freshman year of it and decided to take Spanish 2 my sophomore year. I was involved in the community through Spanish as my class often went to the elementary school and taught younger students the aspects of the language,” wrote McHale. 

 In his junior year, he earned college credit in Pre-Calculus, and he is currently taking three more of these types of classes within the high school setting. These courses are College Writing, Statistics, and AP Calculus. He’s also studying Essentials of Economics, Geography, and the Principles of Coaching as PSEO classes through Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

“If it weren’t for arts, athletics, and academics, I wouldn’t be the student I am today. Being involved in arts kept me active and made me learn multiple aspects of band that I will remember forever,” wrote McHale in his AAA essay. “Athletics impacted me the most in life. With all the fun wins and heartbreaking losses, athletics showed me how to be a calm, loyal person who will always work hard and with others….Academics at Pelican Rapids High School has taught me a great deal of knowledge. It has also taught me to work hard, to be there for a struggling friend, and most importantly; self discipline. Arts, athletics, and academics a … have helped me develop into the person I am today.”